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The increased demand of energy throughout the world has necessitated the use of available sources of energy effectively, as well as development of other renewable energy sources. The increase in population has increased demand of goods produced, which has in turn led to the development of diverse industries which produce goods to meet the existing demand. These industries consume a lot of power which depletes the energy resources we have.

It is therefore necessary to diversify the use of energy resources, as well as reduce energy use in order to ensure that the current and future generations have adequate energy resources (Armstrong and Blundell 2007: 62-69). Currently, there are many measures which have been taken to reduce the energy being consumed, and these include the manufacture of products which conserve energy. These range from energy saving bulbs to hybrid cars, and they are designed to use less energy.

However, since it is impossible to completely reduce the use of energy to zero, it is important to seek alternative sources to supplement the current ones. In setting the criteria for alternative energy sources, it is important to diversify the sources as much as possible, in order to prevent over-reliance on one source (Laughton et. al. 1999: 5-12). It is important to analyse the options available before selecting a suitable criteria. Solar energy. This is energy collected directly from the sun through the use of solar panels which are mounted on walls or roofs of buildings.

It can also be used to generate electricity through use of a photovoltaic cell. In the UK, the average power generated through use of solar energy is 4000 kj for each metre square, but if only a quarter of the population in Britain had solar panels, over 30% of annual demand of energy would be met. Its advantage is that it is non polluting, renewable and requires little maintenance. Geothermal energy. This is energy collected from the earth’s crust. There are certain places where tectonic plates meet and geysers, hot springs and volcanoes exist.

There are limited geothermal sources in the UK, and one is located in Southampton, where water is pumped almost two kilometres below the ground. This energy source is renewable, has low pollution and has low maintenance costs. Its weakness is that it is only available in certain areas and not others. Wind energy. Wind energy is a very useful energy source and it is collected through windmills and used for a variety of uses. It can be used to pump water or power windmills, though in the modern world it is also used to generate electricity through turbines.

UK has one of the best access to wind energy due to its location on the edge of the Atlantic. It is freely available, non-polluting and convenient, since a 20-wind-turbine can satisfy the power demands of a small town (Nagle 2002: 110-117). Wave energy. This is a source of energy which is harnessed from waves, and can be used to drive turbines which generate electricity. It can either use artificial waves created by man, or sea waves from the sea. It is similarly non-polluting, and is currently used in Scotland.

It has a weakness of unreliability in case waves are not sufficiently high (Ison et. al. 2002: 200-206). Hydro electric power. This is power which is generated from turbines which are placed in rivers and dams. The turbines rotate and generate electricity and they require fast flowing water. This necessitates the creation of dams which act as reservoirs and direct water to the turbine. Its advantage is that it is cheap to maintain once built, and its weakness is that it might destroy habitat and is expensive to construct (Houghton 2001: 220-231).

Biomass. This is an energy source from animal waste and plant remains. The animal waste contains gases which can be burned to generate electricity. Plant materials such as hay or wood can also be burned to generate electricity (Smith 2005: 25-30). Its advantage is that it is renewable, though it has weakness such as environmental pollution through release of carbon dioxide which leads to green house effects. Selection criteria. In selection of the proportion of energy sources which Britain should use, it is important to analyze a few factors.

The first factor is the current use of renewable energy, and this is as follows; bio-fuels (79. 8%), solar (0. 4%,) wind (2. 9%) and hydro electricity (16. 3%). Another factor to consider is the pollution to the environment from the energy resources. Energy sources which pollute the environment should be discouraged, while those which do not should be encouraged (Hester et. al. 2003: 102-108). The cost of installing and maintaining the energy resources should also be analysed, and these costs should be kept as low as possible.

They should also match the economic ability of the country. Finally, the practicability and availability of the energy resource should be carefully analysed in order to find out if the resource is available and viable in the circumstances. Recommended proportion of renewable resources. After careful analysis of the energy resources in UK and following the selection criteria, I would recommend the reduction of the use of bio-fuels to about 5% of the total energy demand. This is attributed to the pollution which is associated with this form of energy use.

The use of hydro electric power and wave energy should be increased to 10% and 5% respectively since they are environmentally friendly and cheap to maintain. The use of solar energy should also be increased to about 5% of the total energy supply, since this is a very cheap and available resource which can be used in farmlands. Geothermal power should constitute 5% of the power demands since it is has a limitation on availability. Wind power is environmentally friendly, cheap and readily available and should take a proportion of 10% of energy use.

The total energy use from renewable resources would be 40%, and the 60% would be consumed by ‘others’, which are non-renewable energy sources. This will help to conserve available resources for the benefit of the current and future generations. Bibliography. Armstrong, F. A. , Blundell, F. 2007. Energy… Beyond Oil. London: Oxford University Press. Hester, R. E. , Royal Society of Chemistry (Great Britain), Harrison, R. M. 2003. Sustainability and Environmental Impact of Renewable Energy Sources. UK: Royal Society of Chemistry. Houghton, J. T. 2001.

Global warming: the complete briefing. London: Cambridge University Press. Ison, S. , Peake, S. , Wall, S. 2002. Environmental Issues and Policies: Issues and Policies. New York: Financial Times Prentice Hall. Laughton, M. A. , Watt Committee on Energy, Watt Committee on Energy, Working Group on Renewable Energy Sources. 1999. Renewable Energy Sources: Watt Committee: report number 22. UK: Taylor & Francis. Nagle, G. 2002. Development and Underdevelopment. UK: Nelson Thornes. Smith, P. F. 2005. Architecture in a Climate of Change: A Guide to Sustainable Design. London: Elsevier.

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